The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced Tuesday that no new youth sports guidance is expected from the California Department of Public Health until after Jan. 1, 2021 at the earliest, thus pushing full high school practice and competition start dates back into the new year.
The latest news comes two weeks after the CIF released a similar statement saying that state-sanctioned high school competition cannot take place until there is updated youth sports guidance from the CDPH.
In Tuesday’s statement, the CIF cited “a continued surge of COVID-19 infections” as the reason for the Department of Health’s postponement of releasing new guidance.
As of November 30, 51 of the 58 California counties currently sit in the most-restrictive “purple” tier, as determined by a country’s rate of new COVID-19 cases and positive tests.
The CIF is aware of the current COVID-19 situation in the state, yet still wants its student-athletes to have the best opportunity to compete upon approval from the CDPH and local county officials.
As evidence to that, the CIF added in its statement that regional and state championships will be removed from the Season 1 sports calendar, to allow schools to compete for a longer season rather than one shortened by regional and state playoffs.
Season 1 sports, as announced by the CIF on July 20, consist of the traditional “fall” sports: cross country, football, water polo, girls volleyball and traditional competitive cheer.
Boys volleyball will be moved to Season 2, according to CIF, to “avoid the loss of a second full season.” Season 2 sports, termed as the “spring” sports, now include: badminton, soccer, boys volleyball, tennis, swim & dive, wrestling, basketball, baseball, softball, golf, track and field, lacrosse and competitive sport cheer.
The original Season 1 and Season 2 sports schedule, released on July 20, is now on hold due to full practice not able to start until 2021. Full practice for Season 1 sports was slated to start Dec. 14, with competitions in all Season 1 sports except football slated to begin Dec. 28.
Since that can no longer happen, the CIF will release a revised Season 1 schedule – once the youth sports guidance is provided.